‘How do I get a job in the not-for-profit sector?’
Amy, 26, Sydney
Many people, like you, want to work for an organisation that contributes to the community and makes a positive difference. Jobs in the not-for-profit (NFP) sector can be incredibly rewarding, and the people who work in this sector generally have a shared sense of purpose and a desire to give something back.
There are numerous websites that provide useful information and resources, that also advertise positions in the NFP sector, such as Job Seeker, Ethical Jobs and Pro Bono Australia. Then there are traditional online job websites, such as SEEK, that enable you to search for positions within the community sector. You can use advanced filtering functions to narrow your search to specific sub-sectors.
If you have a specific organisation in mind, start by looking at its website to find out more about what it does and the types of roles that exist. Make direct contact with human resources to find out how they advertise positions – do they use a recruitment company or advertise on their website? Or do they advertise on one of the online job boards?
Employers will be looking for people who have insight and understanding of what working for a not-for-profit involves. It is important to highlight any experience you have had in this sector – including volunteer experience – on your job application.
If you haven’t had any previous experience then consider volunteering with an organisation you have an interest in. This will give you a true sense of what it’s like working in the sector and may help you get your foot in the door. GoVolunteer lists a wide range of volunteer positions.
Jo Messer is a Career Development Specialist who has many years of experience in supporting and guiding students and graduates of some of Australia’s most respected universities, as well as mature-aged clients, across all facets of their career. She is a Professional Member of CDAA and an active member of NAGCAS. Whether you have a specific question about how to achieve your career goal or something more general, Jo is available to provide you with up-to-date advice.